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Sick of the Marconi scandal

03 May 2013

May 2nd, 1913.

IT REALLY is not surprising that Mr Winston Churchill worked himself up in a fine frenzy before the Marconi Committee. In vain the Chairman tremblingly explained that it was entirely out of kind consideration for the First Lord, and in order that he might with his own lips deny the truth of the rumours that were making sport with his name, that the Committee had invited him to the witnesses' chair. It was monstrous, Mr Churchill indignantly exclaimed, that merely to refute the tittle-tattle of the clubs he should be called away from the pressing duties of his office. And we cordially agree with him. In fact, we are heartily sick and tired of the whole sorry business of this inquiry. Clearly, the Ministers who dabbled in these American Marconi shares were guilty of an indiscretion, at least, which they would be scarcely likely to repeat, seeing how such conduct is popularly regarded, but it seems to us that the inquiry has been prolonged beyond all reason. Enough has been discovered to enable the House of Commons to pronounce its judgment on the facts that have been elicited; which done, the matter might be dropped. A secret hope appears to be entertained by Unionists that the Prime Minister will be obliged to call upon the Attorney-General and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to resign, but of that there is no possibility. The Government will hang together at all costs. Ministers will not allow themselves to be perturbed by the pother over the question whether Mr Lloyd George was an investor or speculator when he bought those shares of the Attorney-General's brother. Not for such a trifle as this will they voluntarily curtail their five-year tenure of official power.

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